In the US and several other countries it seems like watching TV on your handset via a networks official app is almost taken for granted however here in the UK we have been restricted on what we can have due to the poor service from the Television Networks that serve us.
Sky have now been saying for months that they are about to launch their popular SkyGo app on Android however nothing has come from this, not even a tiny update which has left several users disgruntled and with just cause – those gits with iPhone’s have now had it for months, paying the same subscription that us Android users pay but getting more for their money… is that fair?
Despite the lack of care being shown by Sky there are other apps out there now which offer TV from the UK for Free. Click past the break for an analysis of the options.
So what’s out there then?
The BBC iPlayer App has been available for some time now and to be honest it’s probably the easiest app of those available just now to both install and use. The only I can list is displaying the videos on a large screen – Even with HD on it looks rather pixelated and struggles to buffer at times too even on WiFi. For a Free app, you really can’t grumble at all.
The ITV Player is relatively new to the Android Market and can only be used once you have downloaded Adobe Air before it can be used. When first using the app you may be asked to enter your email address as the Player is not available in your region however I found that after entering my email address I was granted access to all the channels available straight away. The downsides to this app are the adverts that seem to appear at intervals during watching and there being no HD option available.
STV Player is a regional variation of the ITV Player however as it’s not a physical app yet it requires nothing more than your postcode to play videos. It’s really hard to find a fault with this as it only has an ad at the start of the video and then its uninterrupted from there on in.
Sadly I don’t have a Virgin Media account to test the Virgin Media Player app however judging by a lot of feedback on the app it’s not doing to well. The app requires users to use 3G so that it can “identify your model” and even when you use 3G you then need to make sure you have the XL package otherwise you can’t use it. Despite it’s obvious drawbacks Virgin Media have confirmed that they will enable WiFi useage and lets be hoonest, it’s a step further that Sky have went.
Channel 4 have confirmed that they are working on an Android version of their 4OD app which is also on iPhone already though I wouldn’t hold your breathe on that one as it was July last year that they said that.
Channel 5 have confirmed that videos can be watched via their Demand 5 player on Android providing you have Froyo or above however it’s so bad that I won’t even bother going into details – lets just say the pop out video don’t work so its a tiny video or nothing on a full sized web page.
So there you have it, the greatest the UK has to offer… rather shameful eh?
What are your thoughts on this?